Titanic sub search and rescue party returns to harbour as they give up search

Search and rescue teams tasked with finding the disappeared Titanic exploration sub have been pictured returning to dock looking defeated after their investigation ended in tragedy. The submersible killed all five of its occupants after it catastrophically imploded.

The Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) confirmed two vessels were en route to St John’s harbour on Friday evening (June 23) with one remaining on site.

British adventurer Hamish Harding and father and son Shahzada and Suleman Dawood were killed on board the Titan submersible, alongside the chief executive of the company responsible for the vessel, Stockton Rush, and French national Paul-Henri Nargeolet.

In a statement issued before their ship arrived at the port, the CCG said: “The Canadian Coast Guard offers our sincere condolences to the family and friends of the crew of the Titan for their tragic loss.

“Search and rescue operations have concluded. The CCGS Terry Fox and CCGS Ann Harvey are en route to St John’s.

“The CCGS John Cabot will remain on scene and will provide assistance and support to the recovery and salvage operations as requested by Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre Boston.”

The TSB added a team of investigators were on the way to St John’s to “gather information, conduct interviews and assess the occurrence”.

They added they would be co-ordinating with other agencies involved.

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The TSB will not determine civil or criminal liability and conducts investigations for “the advancement of transportation safety”.

The investigation comes after unearthed emails from Mr Rush revealed he dismissed safety concerns about the vessel, as well as other warning signs, from botched previous trips to a refusal from the company to meet dodging safety certifications.

The exchanges with deep-sea exploration specialist Rob McCallum, reported by the BBC, show the company’s chief executive say he was “tired of industry players who try to use a safety argument to stop innovation”.

Mr McCallum could be seen telling Mr Rush that he was “mirroring that famous cry” of the Titanic’s builders: “She is unsinkable.”

The exchange ended when OceanGate’s lawyers threatened legal action.

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The submersible lost contact with the tour operator an hour and 45 minutes into the two-hour descent to the wreckage, with the vessel reported missing eight hours after communication was lost.

After the report that Titan had gone missing the US Coast Guard said the vessel had a depleting oxygen supply that was expected to run out at about midday UK time on Thursday (June 22).

A report from The Wall Street Journal said the US navy had detected a sound in the search area for the submersible on Sunday that was consistent with an implosion.

The Associated Press, citing a senior military official, reported that the navy passed on the information to the Coast Guard, which continued its search because the data was not considered by the navy to be definitive.

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